The First Mass Produced Items of the Ancient World

Ancient-Egyptian-Aquamarine-Shabti

The first mass produced pieces of artwork were the ancient Egyptians shabtis which were essentially miniature mummies that the ancient Egyptians believed had magical powers and were therefore buried with the dead. Shabtis were comprised of Egyptian faience which is a type of glass ceramic material made from sand. Egyptian faience is referred to as such in order to distinguish it from faience, which is a tin glazed pottery associated with Faenza, Italy. The idea of Egyptian faience was to replicate semiprecious stones like turquoise lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, which at the time was more expensive than gold. The recipe for Egyptian faience is 90% crushed silica, crushed fine natron salt to act as a flux, crushed limestone, and then the coloring with blue being the most popular, a color achieved through the use of pure copper oxide. Water was introduced to turn this composition from a granular mix into a dough like substance. Natron salt which is a type of baking soda, is the key ingredient to this recipe as it rises to the surface when baked and lowers the overall temperature at which sand melts and becomes glass. The statues are left to stand for 24 or more hours as this helps the salt grow on the surface through a chemical reaction process as oxygen within the ambient environment mixes with the ingredients inside the Egyptian faience

George R. R. Martin’s Inspiration for Game of Thrones

George-R-R-Martin

George R. R. Martin raised small pet turtles as a child, but the turtles had a habit of habitually dying every few months. Puzzled by this, Martin developed the fantasy that perhaps these turtles were killing each other in a bid for the Turtle Throne to be the one true pet of Martin in Turtle Castle

 

Photographic Evidence of Lewis Carroll’s Alleged Pedaphilia Involving Alice Liddell, the Protagonist of Alice In Wonderland

Alice-LiddellA photograph linked to Lewis Carroll was found in the Musée Cantini, a French museum in Marseille, France, which depicts what appears to be a pubescent aged Lorina Liddell who was the younger sister of Alice Liddell, the person whom the fictional character of Alice in Alice In Wonderland was based upon. The photograph is problematic as it displays Liddell, fully nude, from a frontal angle. It’s unclear if the photograph was taken by Carroll or only linked to him, and it’s not completely clear as to whether or not the girl in the photograph is actually Liddell. The image isn’t permitted to leave France, so any study upon the subject must be conducted within the borders of the country. In 1993, Carroll expert Edward Wakeling deemed the photo to be not of Liddell after repeated examination and comparison to other images of Liddell. Nicholas Burnett, a picture conservationist with specialized knowledge in 19th century photography technology has stated that he believes the inscription upon the photograph which states “Lorina Liddell, Carroll, Col, MC” is actually a dealers notation which states what the photograph is of, where it came from, and denotes that it’s part of a collection, hence the abbreviation “col”. It’s unclear what “MC” stands for as the Musée Cantini does not use this abbreviation, but it could possibly stand for “Musée Cantini”. Carroll photographed the Liddell girls during the 1860’s which is crucial because the photograph in question has a slow growth mold which is difficult to reproduce fraudulently, beneath a thin layer of egg white albumin used as an outer coating. This photograph is known to have been cropped as the negative is larger than the print which is impossible to achieve unless the photograph itself was cut down. Carrol favored using an Ottawa Walls folding camera which is the same kind of camera which created the photograph in question. Finally, the print was made from a wet collodion negative which is a printing technique which Carroll is known to have used. If the photograph was from a later date, it would have used a paper negative which would have caused it to appear less crisp and clear. The evidence seems to suggest that Carroll did indeed take and develop the photograph. Forensic comparative analysis using modern scientific methods of comparing one photograph to another were used to examine the photograph and experts concluded that the girl in the photograph, is indeed Lorina as the eyes, specifically the epicanthic fold of the eyes, matches that of photographs of Lorina when she is in her adult years, as well as her elder years. The nose provides another example of evidence as the width of the nose at the nasion, meaning the point between the eyes and the bridge of the nose, the width of the alae (pronounced “ail-ee”) which is the spongy part of the side of the nose, and the nostrils are all broadly consistent with later photographs of Lorina. The lips provide further evidence, and perhaps the most interesting of all the compiled evidence as the lips definitively show a Cupid’s bow upon the upper lip, but also a lower lip which is prominent and protruding upon the right side, but not the left. These features forensically demonstrate that there is moderate likelihood that the photograph of the pubescent girl is indeed Lorina. The leader of the forensics team which evaluated the evidence at hand has gone on record to state that because no court case involved, it can confidently be stated that the photograph in question is in fact Lorina, however it should be noted that if a court case were pursuant, the evidence presented may not be enough to garner a conviction as its lacking solid, definitive proof, beyond and to the exclusion of reasonable doubt

The Ancient History of Damascus Steel

Damascus-steel-swordDamascus, Syria, the birthplace of Damascus steel was prized in the ancient world for its durability but unbeknownst to the craftspeople who forged Damascus steel, the region from which the iron ore was taken had naturally occurring nickel which meant that Damascus metalsmiths had composite steel 3000 years before the rest of the world as the idea to mix different kinds of metals had not yet been invented. Damascus steel was shatter resistant and could be sharpened to become sharper than any other type of steel. Having first encountered it during the Crusades of the 11th century, European forgers attempted for centuries to recreate what their Middle Eastern counterparts had already perfected

The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 and its Impact Upon Modern Royals

King-George-III-and-Charlotte

King George III married for dynastic reasons but his 2 brothers each married commoners would had been married before. George found this unacceptable as it brought the royal family disrepute. In 1772, George passed the Royal Marriages Act which stated that a monarch is permitted to decide who members of their family marry. This new law disrupted royal marriages for over 200 years, perhaps most famously in the case of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Princess Margaret also experienced problems because of this law as she was forced to ask her sister Queen Elizabeth for permission to marry a commoner as well. The royal family considered anyone not royal to be a commoner despite their wealth, fame, or aristocratic title

The Japanese Replica Home of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix-Potter-replica-home

Beatrix Potter’s work is highly popular in Japan as her stories were translated into Japanese relatively early on with the first translation released in 1917. Potter’s stories were used to teach English primarily but also served to entertain young children which is why her works are considered culturally important in Japan. A replica of Potter’s English countryside home has been erected in Tokyo, Japan upon the grounds of a children’s zoo situated near Daito Bunka University. The replica home is of Potter’s former home, Hill Top Farm and is exactly 33% larger than the actual home Potter lived and worked in